Our story

Each year the CBF receives funding from the Australian Government’s Community Broadcasting Program  to redistribute in grants to community media organisations.

Last year, 343 organisations received $18.7 million, helping to build strong communities through the sharing of our cultures and interests, while connecting people to each other and to community life. We are sincerely grateful to the Hon Michelle Rowlands MP for her continued support of, and passion for, community media.


The decisions of our Board, Committees, Grant Assessors and Support Team are guided by our Strategic Plan, as well as our Policies, Guidelines and Constitution.

Our origins

The CBF has a proud history driven by the passion of volunteers who believed in the power of community media. Community broadcasting in Australia emerged in the 1960s when demand was high for unique, localised content through radio. Listeners grew as did the respective radio stations and by the 1980’s, nearly 50 community radio stations across the country were on the airwaves. With the number of listeners and community radio stations growing, an organisation to support the distribution of funding was needed, as was a champion to demonstrate the value of community broadcasting to the Australian Government.

In 1984, an extraordinary event in the history of community broadcasting occurred following a long period of campaigning. The Public Broadcasting Foundation (PBF) was formed, led by a passionate Board.

A passion for community broadcasting united the Board and the supporting committees. Working together, they helped to grow government funding significantly to support community media. Each increase in funding was a win celebrated by the PBF and broadcasters – including significant investments in training, the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (Amrap), content and digital broadcasting. Since 1984, this funding has totaled an astounding $326 million.

The passion for improving community media has continued to drive the CBF. Over many years, ambassadors have shown their support and volunteers have joined the CBF to be actively involved in grant decision-making. Collectively, they have ensured community broadcasting remains at the heart of every community.